Player balances were frozen for three months as company battled financially
Peter Lord and Graeme White, reportedly two Australian-based directors of the Canbet online sports book, could be facing lawsuits as angry and frustrated punters try to recover their account balances, allegedly frozen for the past three months due to the company finding itself in financial difficulties.
The UK-licensed sports book said earlier this year that the enterprise had hoped to secure additional funding or at least a rescue package after principal investor Delta — an Indian plc — declined to provide re-financing.
After initially claiming that IT problems had impacted player payments (a claim that has been made all too often by failing online gambling companies) Canbet eventually admitted it was experiencing financial problems, but promised to recover and pay out all owed players by end January, undertaking to either raise cash or sell assets in order to do so.
The company stopped taking deposits in the same month, and most recently has apologised to players for not being able to honour its promise of payment in January.
That does not seem to have placated a number of punters, who are now threatening litigation.
The latest statement dated 12 February on this issue by the UK Gambling Commission reveals that it has been monitoring the Canbet situation since November 2013, and has received assurances regarding the company's financial circumstances.
Nevertheless, the Commission is concerned that the backlog of customer payments has grown and deadlines for resolving the problems have passed.
"This is a matter of great concern to us and there are difficult choices to be made," the Commission points out. "We are mindful of the need to balance the risks to the licensing objectives in the Gambling Act 2005 against the possible impact that any action the Commission takes against Canbet may have on its customers.
"Whilst we can stop a firm from trading if there is a risk to the licensing objectives, in cases such as this, suspension or revocation of an operating licence is highly likely to result in the company closing and customers having no chance of being repaid."
It is understood that Canbet is currently owned by Melbourne, Australia-based Interactive Gaming & Sports Pty Ltd, which bought the company in December 2012 from Yin Khing Investments Ltd.
Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa